Wolff: Hamilton ‘barely made a mistake’ in 2018

Published on 08 Dec 2018 12:36

Toto Wolff says that recently crowned five-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, was almost error free in 2018, but the British driver is still looking for ways that he can improve. 

When questioned at Friday's FIA prize giving gala, the Mercedes team boss said it was “difficult” to isolate which was the most impressive aspect of what is arguably one of Hamilton's best seasons in the sport.

The prospect of Hamilton being able to equal Michael Schumacher with seven world titles also arose, as if Mercedes manage to stay as competitive as it is currently, then there are two more years before the rules change again in 2021. 

“Overall, all of us that contribute to the team’s success need to do better tomorrow than today,” said Wolff. “And he as a driver and as a human being has developed ever single year I’ve been working with him. We have barely seen mistakes this year.”

However Hamilton is still looking for areas he can raise his game: “We’ve discussed it on the plane yesterday,” said Wolff, “he’s one of very few drivers that is capable to say ‘no it was exactly that’ but he said ‘no I wasn’t good here, I wasn’t good here…'”

“We have another two years without a contract until the end of 2020. So there’s potentially two more championships to go. It would be great If he can achieve that. And I mean we are in a good position."

“But the points go back to zero at the start every single year. The challenge is going to be bigger than it was this year. So we’re in good spirits that we can achieve it but I can tell you that Ferrari and Red Bull and all the other guys are trying everything to stop us.”

Replies (13)
SE calle.itw 08 Dec 2018 13:020
Posts: 5898
Maybe you should marry him since you love him so much. At the very least, if I were Susie I'd be worried of losing my leather bag.
Posts: 303
I know what you mean - though Brown is equally effusive and dreamy about Alonso, despite Alonso arguably having been central to the demise of the Honda arrangement, a move that must (once again !!!) have cost McClaren tens of millions.....
SE calle.itw 10 Dec 2018 19:520
Posts: 5898
He was certainly one of the faces of it, though the displeasure with the whole deal was pretty wellestablished in McLaren as it was. I think he was instrumental in Honda not wanting to supply McLaren with engines in Indycar though. As far as I've heard, they did not only lose their de facto title sponsor, being one of the more lucrative deals of the grid (sums vary, but count about oil money levels), they also had to pay Honda for breaking their contract, and that was worth about €100 million... I dont think McLaren really needed that kinda divorce bill.
Posts: 1000
He lovessss Hamilton sooo much that he makes sure that he beats his teammate. Would anyone do an better job than Bottas? For sure there are better drivers but would Mercedes allow that? Their golden boy must be protected at all cost. It's not the first time Mercedes favored an driver, not an good position for the non lead driver.
SE calle.itw 08 Dec 2018 18:48+1
Posts: 5898
And here might be an impopular opinion: for much of the season, I think Bottas did a better job than Kimi, and should with all right have ended up ahead of him in the points, yet Merc' put so much of their eggs in Hammy's bag that Bottas were completely screwed over and not only lost to Kimi, but to Max to boot.
US Ram Samartha 09 Dec 2018 04:220
Posts: 312
Again, Bottas has nobody but himself to blame for under-performing and being relegated to wingman status. Not sure how you can objectively say he did better than Kimi. If you look at the data and metrics for the season(not to mention points, oops just did), it's pretty clear that Kimi had a better season than Bottas. What do you suggest teams do when one driver clearly is outperforming the other, throw your weight behind the driver who is lagging? I don't think so.
SE calle.itw 09 Dec 2018 09:260
Posts: 5898
Nobody but himself? I think not. Yes, he is part of the problem, but believe me it took two to that tango: Bottas being slower and Merc' strategy putting all the eggs in Hammy's basket (Yes, I did repeat my point). Earlier the whole second driver thing used to be a give or take situation, whereas as of late, and especially with Hammy and Bottas, its just been take. And it worked for them this year, because Bottas managed to compensate for those setbacks. The points say jack shit about his performance due to those setbacks. Just look at the races in which he had to stay out, all the while being swallowed whole by prancing horses and sanguine bulls. Bottas performed worse this year, but Kimi only really came to life during the last races, other than that he was just there. Bottas actually tried to race when he wasnt C**kblocking.
US Rindtchamp 08 Dec 2018 17:47+2
Posts: 291
Barely made a mistake? yes, you're right.

..but then why did you need to have Bottas to play 'wingman' all the season and letting him past once and sometimes twice a race? Bottas is now mentally scarred from this, its plain to see, well done Toto, hope you're happy.
US Ram Samartha 09 Dec 2018 04:160
Posts: 312
I don't know if that's really fair. Bottas was definitely under-performing, especially in contrast to Ham. Bottas has nobody to blame but himself. If had performed better it would have been a much different season for him. Seems to me his scars are self inflicted.
Posts: 86
I don't know why Renault faded and I don't know why Bottas stumbled after surpassing Kimi Raikkonen in points, but it didn't seem to be from some obvious Mercedes strategy. Valtteri seemed to be more upset by the bad Pirelli tyres, but Hamilton also cried that he couldn’t drive fast with them. And when I say Hamilton cried, I don't mean actually cried like Sebastian after he skidded off in Germany.
Really I don’t know why anyone wants to buy a brand new tyre that only lasts a half an hour. The Mercedes was hobbled by them and Valtteri could barely hang on at the end.
Posts: 303
Cmon guys, this is a sport for men not wimps. Bottas been too soft, lacks killer moves, lacks consistency and the contrast to the best is clear - he's not top drawer and this puts him, sooner or later in a de-facto number 2 position.

He has a great opportunity come Melbourne to prove me and millions of others wrong. Rosberg (thanks largely to superior reliability) managed to bounce back. Let's see if Bottas can too - I'm not sure he has it in him, but I genuinely would like to see him perform much, much better.
SE calle.itw 09 Dec 2018 09:270
Posts: 5898
Bottas' problem, along with lacking some pace, is that he is too much of a team player. Come 2019, he need to start racing Hammy and ignore team orders. It'll lose him Hammy's grace though, and Im not sure he is willing to lose that.
Posts: 86
The way I saw it, Mr. Wolff didn't really take to Lewis until 2017 season. I’m pretty sure he and Mercedes preferred Nico Rosberg who is the prototypical golden boy. Now after time has passed Lewis Hamilton’s record is so golden that if you read it out in court like a shopping list, it would sound like praise. Toto is only plain speaking and stating some open ended facts. I’m kind of embarrassed for the ankle biters here.

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